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Published Friday, September 1, 2023

Our Comprehensive Guide on How To Stretch / Gauge Your Ears

What is Ear Stretching "Gauging"?

Stretching your ear lobes, also known as ear gauging, is a form of body piercing modification practiced around the globe. It has a long history spanning cultures and continents.

Basically, it's enlarging a piercing in the earlobe to fit bigger jewelry than regular earrings. This form of body modification involves a gradual process that requires patience and care.  It's done incrementally, over a long period, and if performed correctly, is painless and sometimes reversible at smaller sizes.

It's essential to proceed slowly when you start stretching to prevent tearing or blowouts, which can permanently damage the earlobe.  There are specific steps involved, starting with a regular piercing, which is then slowly expanded using tapers, plugs, tunnels, or other tools specially designed for this purpose.

Why Stretch Your Ears?

Deciding to stretch your piercing is a highly personal choice. It's a form of body modification that invites creativity, discipline, and self-expression, making it a life changing practice for those who choose it.

Here are some of the most common reasons we've heard:

  1. Self-Expression: For many, ear stretching is a form of self-expression. Just as some individuals express themselves through their wardrobe or hairstyle, others do so through body modifications. The size, shape, and style of the jewelry used in stretched ears can all speak to an individual's unique personality, aesthetic preferences, and personal journey.

  2. Cultural Significance: Ear stretching holds cultural significance in various societies worldwide. Some individuals may choose to stretch their lobes to connect with their cultural roots or honor ancient traditions.

  3. Community: The body modification community is a vibrant and supportive group. Participating in ear stretching can foster a sense of belonging, allowing individuals to connect with like-minded people and share experiences, advice, and support.

  4. Aesthetics: Some people simply like the look of stretched ears. With the variety of jewelry options available—from tunnels and plugs to spirals and hangers—ear stretching opens up a new world of aesthetic possibilities.

  5. A Journey of Patience and Commitment: The process of ear stretching requires patience, as it can take months or even years to reach your desired size safely. This journey can be rewarding and fun, cultivating discipline and a sense of accomplishment as you progressively reach your goals.

  6. Artistic Expression: From hand-carved wooden plugs to intricate glass tunnels, the options for ear stretching jewelry are endless and often quite beautiful. Collecting and showcasing these miniature works of art can be a source of enjoyment for many.

So, How Can Ear Stretching Be Fun?

Variety is the Spice of Life: With stretched lobes, the range of jewelry you can wear expands exponentially. This vast variety lets individuals change their style according to their mood, the occasion, or even the seasons, making each day a unique expression of themselves.

Unique Jewelry: The world of stretched lobe jewelry is rich and diverse. Handcrafted pieces can resemble miniature sculptures, and wearing them allows you to display these works of art in a personal and impactful way. Discovering new artists, styles, and materials can be an exciting journey.

Community Connection: Being a part of the ear stretching community can be a rewarding experience. Whether it's sharing advice with beginners, discussing with veterans, or admiring and showcasing jewelry, the communal aspect adds an element of social fun to the practice.

Personal Achievement: Reaching each new size in the stretching process is a personal accomplishment. This milestone-based journey can be exhilarating, and celebrating these achievements can add a layer of enjoyment to the practice.

Ear stretching offers a unique blend of self-expression, artistic appreciation, community, and personal achievement. It's a practice that intertwines ancient tradition with modern body modification culture. For those drawn to it, stretching your earlobes can be an exciting and deeply rewarding experience.

An Ancient Practice In Modern Times

Egyptian Plug, 1295-1270 BCE 
Photo credit MetMuseum.org

Buddha
Photo credit: Alexander Riedel/Stars & Stripes

A Karen tribeswoman with stretched lobes
Photo Credit: Steve Evans from India & USA - Thailand Hill  Tribes, CC BY 2.0

While it starts with a personal choice, ear stretching is more than just a fashion trend; it is an ancient practice steeped in cultural significance and personal expression. Stretching earlobes and other piercings has a long history, and spans cultures across the globe. This practice has been a part of human history for thousands of years. It has held cultural, religious, and aesthetic significance.

Among the earliest records of ear stretching date back to ancient Egypt, where plugs (gauges) made of precious materials were found in the tombs of high-ranking individuals. This practice suggests a possible connection to social status or spiritual beliefs. Similarly, in ancient Mesoamerica, civilizations like the Maya and the Aztec used ear stretching not only as a form of aesthetic embellishment but also as a signifier of societal roles.

In Asia, the Buddha is traditionally depicted with stretched earlobes, symbolizing wisdom and enlightenment, a result of Siddhartha Gautama's noble life as a prince, where he wore heavy gold earrings that stretched his lobes. Upon renouncing his worldly possessions, he removed his earrings, but his stretched lobes remained, serving as a reminder of his journey to spiritual awakening.

In African cultures, ear stretching has been used as a form of body modification for centuries. Tribes such as the Maasai in Kenya and the Fulani in West Africa have a rich tradition of ear stretching that continues to this day. For the Maasai, stretched earlobes symbolize wisdom and age, and both men and women participate in this tradition. On the other hand, among the Fulani, this practice is predominantly seen in women, often associated with beauty and status.

The indigenous people of the Amazon also have a long history of ear stretching. Their ear decorations often represented warrior status and bravery. Similar practices can be found in the indigenous cultures of Borneo, among the Dayak people, where ear stretching was seen as enhancing one's beauty and status.

In modern Western culture, ear stretching has seen a resurgence in the last three decades as part of a broader interest in body modification and self-expression. The practice now transcends cultural boundaries and is adopted by people of all backgrounds. It's seen as a form of individual identity expression and has been integrated into punk, goth, and other countercultural movements.

Ear stretching, while popular, is still far from mainstream. It has an extensive history. It bridges the old with the new, the spiritual with the aesthetic, and the individual with the cultural.

It’s an art form that speaks to the universal human desire to modify one's body as a means of expression. Ear stretching is more than a fashion statement; it's a statement of identity.

A Quick Rundown of the Top Things Needed to Stretch Your Lobes

Which Stretching Method is Right For Me?

During its long history many methods have been used to stretch ear piercings, and once you’ve decided to stretch your lobes it’s important to consider what method is right for you.

Tapering (Recommended):

This is a very common method for beginners. A taper is a conical tool, wider at one end, that is gradually pushed through the piercing to stretch it.

It's important, when inserting the taper, to do this slowly and with plenty of lubrication to minimize discomfort and risk of injury. Push the taper until fully inserted, then a plug or tunnel of the same size can replace it. You'll want to use either single flare plugs or no flare plugs that slide in easily.

READ OUR BLOG ON STRETCHING WITH A TAPER

 

Dead Stretching (Recommended):

Dead stretching, or natural stretching, involves inserting jewelry that is slightly larger than the current size of the piercing. This method relies on the natural elasticity of the skin to accommodate the larger size over time.

It's the same process as tapering and requires patience, but it's considered safer and less likely to cause damage to the tissue. We make this process a lot easier by offering half sizes in our glass stretching plugs. That makes the stretch smaller and more manageable, and the plugs are fairly heavy, making future stretches easier.

 

Scalpeling (Use Caution):

This method involves a professional body modification artist making a small cut in the skin of the lobe to allow for larger jewelry. Scalpeling can facilitate larger stretches in a single session, but it has a higher risk of complications and is generally considered a more extreme method.

It should only be performed by a trained professional in a sterile environment. This method should be carefully considered first. While it's a shortcut, it's important to remember that the same thing can be accomplished more safely using patience and time.

Dermal Punch (Not Recommended):

A dermal punch removes a circular piece of tissue from the ear, allowing for larger jewelry. It's often used for cartilage piercings where stretching is more difficult, but it can also be used on the lobe. Like scalpeling, this method should only be performed by trained professionals, as it carries a higher risk and is not reversible.

 

Weights (Not Recommended):

Wearing ear weights to stretch involves hanging weighted jewelry from the stretched lobe to encourage it to stretch further. It's a traditional method often seen in indigenous cultures. This method isn't recommended today, as it can cause uneven stretching or thinning of the lobe at the bottom if the weight distribution is not super well managed. At most, weights should be worn for a couple hours, and then removed to let your lobes rest.

Taping Method (Not Recommended):

Taping involves wrapping layers of non-adhesive, biocompatible tape (such as PTFE or bondage tape) around the jewelry to gradually increase its diameter. A few layers are added every few days, allowing the ear to stretch slowly. This method gives a high level of control over the stretching rate and is often used for larger sizes, but it requires regular cleaning to maintain hygiene. It is not a recommended method anymore due to the porous nature of the tape and the potential for contamination and infection.

Silicone Stretching (Not Recommended):

This method involves inserting a flexible silicone plug or tunnel into the ear. The silicone is compressible, allowing it to be folded for insertion, then it expands once in place, stretching the ear. However, it's never recommended as silicone is a porous material and may cause complications, and the stretch can be highly unpredictable and cause irreversible damage.

 


Each recommended method has its advantages and disadvantages and may be suitable for different stages of the stretching process or different individual needs. Tapering, for example, is often used at smaller sizes, because even heavy 14 gauge plugs won't be heavy enough to stretch the lobe. Stretching with our glass or titanium stretching plugs can combine the best of tapering and dead stretching together.

It's important to note that any form of body modification should be undertaken with careful research, consideration, and, where necessary, professional or medical advice to ensure safety and reduce the risk of complications.

What Are Some Safe Materials for Stretching Piercings?


If you're considering stretching a piercing like your lobes, it's crucial to use materials that are safe and suitable for the process. Let's explore two excellent options: titanium and glass.

 

Titanium: Lightweight and Nickel-Free

Titanium is a fantastic choice for stretching piercings, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Here's why:

  • Nickel-Free: Titanium is free from nickel, making it ideal for individuals with sensitive skin or nickel allergies.
  • Corrosion-Resistant: It resists corrosion, ensuring durability and longevity.
  • Lightweight: Titanium jewelry is lightweight, providing comfort during the stretching process.
  • Easy to Clean: Maintaining hygiene is essential, and titanium jewelry is easy to clean, promoting piercing health.

Glass: Heavy-Duty and Fragile

Glass is another safe option for stretching piercings, offering unique advantages:

  • Weight: Glass jewelry tends to be heavier, which can aid in stretching by providing gentle pressure.
  • Fragility: While glass is fragile, its delicate nature can be advantageous during the stretching process, as it encourages careful handling.

Extra Sterilization: Autoclave Friendly

For those who prioritize sterilization, both glass and titanium offer compatibility with autoclaving, ensuring an extra layer of cleanliness and safety.

 

When it comes to stretching piercings, choosing the right materials is paramount for safety and comfort. Titanium and glass emerge as top contenders, each with its unique benefits. Whether you opt for the lightweight resilience of titanium or the substantial weight of glass, prioritize your piercing's health and your comfort throughout the stretching journey.

Healing Times for Stretching

Healing times can vary greatly from person to person and depend on factors such as your overall health and healing rate. As a general rule, it is important to give your ears ample time to heal before attempting to stretch further. Rushing the process can lead to complications like tears, blowouts, or thinning of the lobes.

Here is a general guideline, though individual experiences may vary:

  • Small Sizes (up to 2mm or roughly 12 gauge):
    For small stretches, a healing period of at least one to two months is recommended.

  • Medium Sizes (2mm to 8mm or roughly 12 gauge to 0 gauge):
    For these sizes, a healing period of two to three months between stretches is a common recommendation. However, some people might need more time, especially as the sizes get larger within this range.

  • Large Sizes (8mm and up or 0 gauge and up): For larger sizes, a healing period of at least three to six months between stretches is advised. At this stage, the skin and tissue are experiencing significant changes, and ample healing time is crucial to maintain healthy lobes.

Keep in mind that these are estimated healing times and can vary widely between individuals. The key is to listen to your body. Remember, your lobes should be fully healed before moving on to the next stretch.

You'll know when you're fully healed because your lobes will have no redness or irritation and inserting and removing jewelry will cause little to no irritation.

(Some people will experience mild irritation whenever they change out jewelry, but this is only for those with very sensitive lobes, and you'll learn over time if this is you.)

What Kind Of Aftercare Do You Need For Stretching Your Lobes?

Aftercare is crucial to maintain healthy stretched lobes and to minimize the risk of infection or other complications. Here are some general guidelines:


Seriously, wash em

 

Cleanliness:

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Wash your hands. That's always step one! Keep your newly stretched ears clean to avoid infection. Use warm water, or a saline solution or spray to clean your lobes and the jewelry daily.

Avoid using alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as these can be too harsh and might delay the healing process. It's important not to over-clean too. Once your lobes and jewelry are clean, avoid touching them to keep them clean.

 

Lubrication:

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Keep your lobes moisturized to promote elasticity and aid in healing. Use oils such as jojoba or vitamin E oil, which mimic the body's natural oils and can help prevent dryness and cracking.

 

Monitoring:

Regularly check your lobes for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, pus, or unusual pain. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your healthcare professional or piercer.

A little redness or mild irritation is okay when you're healing. Unusual swelling, pus or pain can be signs something is going wrong.

 

This is also a good time to do a materials check:

Are your plugs glass or titanium? One of the most common issues post stretch is a reaction to materials. Cleaning your lobes and changing back to a safe material may be your best option. Materials that are generally considered safe for regular wear, like wood and stone, are not suitable for new stretches due to their porous surface.

 

Patience:

Don't rush to the next size. Stretching too quickly can cause blowouts, tears, or thin lobes. Wait until your ears are fully healed before attempting the next stretch.

This can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on your body. If there was one piece of advice we would give to everyone stretching their lobes it would be this one. The vast majority of stretching issues stem from a lack of patience.

 

Jewelry:

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Wear quality jewelry suitable for fresh stretches, such as glass, titanium or stainless steel. Avoid porous materials like wood plugs, stone plugs, silicone plugs or certain types of plastic, which can harbor bacteria, until the stretch is fully healed.

 

Rest:

If you're experiencing discomfort or if your ears seem to be healing slowly, give them a break. Remove the jewelry and let your ears rest. You may even need to downsize if you notice any problems, such as thinning lobes or persistent discomfort.

It's important to remember that not everyone's stretching journey is in a straight line. Taking a step back on occasion is not only okay, it may be the best path for you.

 

Massage Your Ears:

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A tiny bit of jojoba oil or an ear stretching salve can work wonders when massaged into the lobes, keeping them fresh and flexible, and free of cracking and dry flaking.

 

Healthy Lifestyle:

Your overall health impacts your body's healing process. Make sure to maintain a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep. This helps your body repair itself more efficiently.

 


Remember, everyone's body is different, and therefore, healing times and reactions can vary. Listen to your body, and if in doubt, consult a professional. With patience and proper aftercare, you can ensure that your ear stretching journey is a successful one.

If you'd like to check out our blog specifically on stretched piercing aftercare, click the image below:

Intro To Plugs

The size of a stretched lobe, and the jewelry that you wear in it, is typically referred to by its diameter. The starting size for a typical earlobe piercing is 20 or 18 gauge (.81mm-1mm). From here, the size can be gradually increased.

In the United States, the American Gauge System is often used to measure the diameter of the plugs, where a smaller number indicates a larger size. 14 gauge, for example, is smaller than 8 gauge. However, beyond 00 gauge (about 9.5mm), measurements are usually given in millimeters or inches.

CHECK OUT OUR HOW TO MEASURE BLOG

Single Vs Double Flare Intro To Plugs

Plugs or gauges are types of jewelry used in stretched earlobes. While the term 'plugs' was once considered the correct term, today 'plugs', ‘spacers’ and 'gauges' are often used interchangeably. They come in different styles, including single-flared, double-flared, removeable-flare and no-flare. The term 'flare' refers to the widened ends of the plug, which help keep the jewelry secure in the piercing.

 

Single-Flared Plugs:

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Single-flared plugs have one end that is wider (the flare) and one end that is the same diameter as the middle of the plug (the wearable area). The flared end is designed to stay outside of the earlobe, while the narrower end, where a small rubber 'o-ring' is often placed, goes through the piercing.

This o-ring helps to secure the plug in place and prevent it from slipping out. Single-flared plugs are often recommended for those who are still in the process of stretching their ears because they are easier to insert and less likely to cause irritation or damage.

Some folks' lobes are never stretchy enough to accommodate double flares, and that's okay! Just remember, everyone's lobes are unique and there are benefits to both.

 

 

Double-Flared Plugs:

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Double-flared plugs have a flare at both ends, making the ends wider than the middle (wearable) section of the plug. The wearable section is the part that rests in your lobe. When wearing double-flared plugs, the piercing needs to stretch slightly to accommodate the flares during insertion and removal.

For this reason, double-flared plugs are typically recommended for healed and well-established stretches, as the elasticity needed to insert and remove these plugs comfortably can take time to develop and for some never develops at all. Never force a flare through your lobes, as swelling can occur and make it near impossible to remove the plugs once inserted.

 

 

Removable-flare plugs:

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Some plugs feature a removable rear flare that screws on. The screw-in process can be a little difficult to navigate and get used to. You'll want to practice and watch some of our instructional videos on how to insert these. But once you've got it down, these kinds of plugs can open up a whole new world of self-expression!

 

No-flare plugs:

SHOP OUR NO FLARE PLUGS

These plugs are the same width all the way through. They have no wider part. This makes them great for new stretches, as long as they're made from a material recommended for that (Glass and titanium are the primary materials you'll want to use in a fresh stretch). They usually feature two o-rings, one in the front and one in the back, to help keep the jewelry in place.

 

 

Teardrop or oddly shaped plugs:

SHOP OUR TEARDROP PLUGS

You'll see these around a lot. They can be super popular. The most common is the teardrop type, but there are also coffin shaped plugs and heart shaped plugs.

The most important thing to know about these is that they are almost always double-flared, and because of their odd shape, they will require even more flexibility in the lobe to insert than double-flared plugs. You should be 100% comfortable wearing double flares before trying these.

 


The choice between different kinds of flared plugs often comes down to personal preference, the stage of the stretching journey, and comfort. Some individuals may prefer the look of a double flare, while others might find the single flare easier to use and more comfortable, especially during the stretching process. As with all body modifications, it's important to listen to your body and take care when choosing and using any type of plug or gauge.

What to do about thinning lobes?

 

Getting a thin spot can limit your stretching options and affect the type of jewelry you can wear, potentially leading to weak spots in your lobes that may tear or split.

The first step in preventing thinning lobes is to ensure your stretching journey begins with well-placed lobe piercings. If you haven’t started stretching, consult a piercer to evaluate your anatomy and discuss your goals.

Avoiding Thinning Lobes During Stretching

If you’re already stretching, prioritize prevention:

  • Slow down the stretching process to avoid thinning. Gradually increase sizes and allow your lobes sufficient time to heal. Avoid rapid stretching or skipping sizes.
  • Use high-quality single flare plugs, such as implant-grade titanium, glass, or stainless steel. Avoid materials that can cause irritation or damage.
  • Avoid using weights to stretch your lobes; they should only be worn in fully healed lobes for short periods. Train your ears slowly to handle heavier weights.
  • Be cautious with ear hangers; wear them through earskins, tunnels, or saddle spreader hooks to distribute weight evenly and prevent irritation.

Monitoring and Addressing Thinning

Keep a close eye on your lobes as you stretch. If you notice any thinning:

  1. Immediately downsize your jewelry to a smaller gauge to reduce stress on your earlobe.
  2. Moisturize and massage your lobes regularly to promote healthier and thicker tissue. Use jojoba oil as a moisturizer.
  3. Give your lobes a break from jewelry to allow them time to heal before resuming the stretching journey.

If you experience severe thinning, consult a medical professional or piercer.

What is a blowout, and what can I do about it?


A blowout occurs when the inner lining of a stretched piercing is forced out through the back of the piercing due to rapid stretching or using improper technique. It can result in a lip of scar tissue forming around the piercing, causing discomfort and altering the appearance of the stretch.

If you experience a blowout, here are steps you can take:

  • Downsize Immediately: The first step in treating a blowout is to immediately remove the larger jewelry and replace it with a smaller size. This will help relieve pressure on the stretched lobe and begin the healing process.

  • Cleanse: Clean the area carefully with a saline solution to prevent infection. Avoid using alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, which can be too harsh and delay healing.

  • Massage: Regularly massaging the area with a skin-friendly oil (like jojoba or stretching salve) can help to increase blood flow and promote healing. It may also help the excess tissue to reabsorb back into the lobe.

  • Rest: Allow your lobes to rest and heal. This may take several weeks to months, depending on the severity of the blowout.

  • Consult a Professional: If the blowout is severe or does not improve with downsizing and care, it's important to consult with a professional body piercer or a healthcare provider.

Blowouts can sometimes leave permanent changes in the tissue, affecting the appearance and future stretching of the lobe. Prevention is always the best approach—stretching slowly, using appropriate jewelry and materials, and allowing ample time for healing between each stretch are key to preventing complications like blowouts.

Remember, ear stretching should never be painful. If you experience pain, discomfort, or changes like a blowout, it's an indication that your body needs rest and healing. Listen to your body.

How To Stretch 2 Piercings in the Same Lobe


An example of multiple stretched piercings in one lobe

Stretching two piercings in the same earlobe requires careful planning and patience to ensure that both piercings remain healthy and maintain structural integrity. Here's what you need to consider:

  • Spacing: The piercings should be spaced far enough apart that they don't risk merging into one large hole as they're stretched. Each piercing needs enough room to accommodate its stretch without encroaching on the other. It's recommended to seek advice from a professional piercer on the appropriate spacing.

  • Sequential Stretching: Rather than stretching both piercings simultaneously, consider stretching one first and then the other. This gives your body time to heal and adapt between stretches, reducing the overall strain on your lobe. If you're using this method, don't change your jewelry too often in the healed piercing, as touching the unhealed piercing by accident can cause infection. As a general rule, the less you can touch a piercing, the better it will heal.

  • Slow and Steady: It's even more important to stretch slowly and patiently when you have multiple piercings in the same lobe. Rushing the process can lead to complications such as thinning lobes, tears, or blowouts. Inflammation, irritation or infection can affect both piercings, so it's doubly important to be careful.

  • Appropriate Jewelry: Wear the right type of jewelry for your stretched piercings. Depending on the location and size of your stretches, different types of plugs, tunnels, or other jewelry might be more comfortable and safer.

  • Aftercare: Regular cleaning and care of your piercings are crucial. Keeping the area clean and moisturized will help support healing and maintain the health of your lobes. Once a day is plenty for this though, so don't overdo it!

  • Regular Check-ins: Monitor your lobes regularly for signs of strain or distress. If you notice any issues like thinning of the lobes, discomfort, or changes in the skin, give your ears a rest and consider seeking advice from a professional.

  • Consultation: Before you begin, it might be beneficial to consult with a professional piercer. They can assess your earlobe, advise on the best placement for the second piercing, and guide you through the stretching process.

Remember, everyone's body is different, and what works well for one person may not work as well for another. Listen to your body and don't rush the process. If in doubt, always seek professional advice.

How to Shrink your lobes, and the 'point of no return'?


Earlobe stretching is a commitment. While some degree of shrinking is possible, the 'point of no return' is a concept used to describe a stretch size beyond which the earlobes may not shrink back to the original piercing size.

The 'point of no return' varies from person to person and depends on factors such as the individual's skin elasticity, age, and how quickly they stretched their ears. Generally, it is often cited to be around 12 gauge to 2 gauge (2mm to 6mm), but again, this can differ greatly among individuals. There is no guarantee that you will be able to reverse the stretching process at any size, so careful consideration before you begin is important!

If you've decided to retire your stretched lobes, here are some ways to encourage shrinking:

  • Remove Jewelry: The first step to shrinking your lobes is to remove your jewelry. This relieves the constant weight and pressure on the lobes and allows the skin to begin the contraction process.

  • Massage: Regularly massaging the lobes can help improve blood circulation and encourage the skin to retract. Using a moisturizer or oils like stretching salve or jojoba oil can support skin elasticity during this process.

  • Patience: Shrinking can take time. Depending on how large the stretch was, it could take several months to a year for the lobes to shrink to their smallest possible size.

  • Consult a Professional: If your lobes are not shrinking as much as you'd like or if you are concerned about their appearance, consult with a professional. In cases of larger stretches, a surgical procedure might be necessary to close the stretched piercing.

Earlobe Repair Surgery typically involves removing the stretched skin and stitching the lobe back together. This procedure should be performed by a qualified professional and would require a period of healing afterward.

Remember, it's always a good idea to think carefully before stretching your lobes and to be aware of the potential permanence of the modification.

What is Earlobe Repair Surgery?


Before and after of earlobe repair surgery by Sound Plastic Surgery

Earlobe repair surgery is a procedure usually carried out by a plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or a specialist in body modification to correct stretched, torn, or split earlobes. It is typically an outpatient procedure and often done under local anesthesia. Here's a general description of the process:

  • Consultation: Before the procedure, a consultation will take place where the professional will assess the state of your earlobe, discuss your expectations, and explain the procedure along with its risks and benefits.

  • Preparing the Earlobe: On the day of the procedure, the earlobe is cleaned and a local anesthetic is applied or injected to numb the area. This minimizes discomfort during the surgery.

  • Removal of Stretched Skin: The professional will then remove the stretched, thin skin inside the stretched lobe using a scalpel or surgical scissors.

  • Stitching the Earlobe: The remaining skin is stitched back together with sutures, essentially reshaping the earlobe to a more conventional appearance. The precise technique and pattern of stitching can vary depending on the surgeon's preference and the specifics of the patient's earlobe.

  • Aftercare: Once the procedure is completed, the professional will dress the wound and provide aftercare instructions. This usually includes keeping the area clean and dry, applying an antibiotic ointment, and monitoring for any signs of infection. It's generally advised to avoid sleeping on the earlobe and to refrain from wearing any earrings until the lobe has fully healed.

  • Follow-up: Sutures are usually removed after 1-2 weeks. A follow-up appointment may be scheduled to check on the healing progress and to remove non-dissolvable stitches, if used.

  • Re-piercing: If you wish to have your earlobes repierced after surgery, you typically have to wait several months for your earlobes to fully heal. It's important to avoid the scarred area when re-piercing to minimize the risk of tearing.

Remember that this is a medical procedure and should be carried out by a licensed and experienced professional. Always do your research and consult with the professional to understand the procedure and its potential risks and results. Check their reviews and ask to see examples of their previous work. This is a good time to be choosy about who you go to for this procedure, and make sure the person you find is a good fit.